Visualizing the hydrodynamics in sieve-based lateral displacement systems

J.P. Dijkshoorn, J.C. de Valença, R.M. Wagterveld, R.M. Boom, M.A.I. Schutyser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Deterministic lateral displacement (DLD) systems structure suspension flow in so called flow lanes.The width of these flow lanes is crucial for separation of particles and determines whether particles with certain size are displaced or not. In previous research, separation was observed in simplified DLD systems that did not meet the established DLD geometric design criteria, by adjusting the outflow conditions. We here investigated why these simplified DLD systems are able to displace particles, by experimentally investigating the hydrodynamics in the device. Flow lanes were visualized and the local flow velocities were measured using μPIV and compared with 2D fluid dynamics simulations. The size of the flow lanes strongly correlates with the local flow velocity (Vy and Vx), which depends on the hydrodynamics. Therefore, the geometric design criteria of DLD devices is in fact just one method to control the local hydrodynamics, which may also be influenced by other means. These findings give a new perspective on the separation principle, which makes the technique more flexible and easier to
translate to industrial scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12861
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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